On the UN-WANTED list: Emerald ash borer

In less than one year from discovery, this small beetle has become the number one exotic threat to all species of ash in the Great Lakes region. Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, has been found in shade trees, nurseries, and in forests and these insects are unable to kill both healthy and decadent trees. Some forest entomologists believe EAB could have a greater impact on our cities and forests than gypsy moth. That proposition waits to be seen, but EAB has already caused tremendous tree mortality near Detroit, where an estimated five million ash trees have been infested/ killed in a 2500 square mile area. EAB was first identified last summer, but has been active for eight to ten years there, apparently being mistaken for native species or as part of the general ash decline syndrome in community trees. The insects were probably introduced from Asia on wood packing materials ( pallets, dunnage, etc).

Here in Minnesota, we have no reason to believe that the insect has been introduced here. However, we are trying to inform as many people as possible about the insect, its symptoms and the damage it causes in order to detect it early. Our hope is that anyone and everyone who works with trees on a regular basis will take the time to closely look at the declining and dead ashes that they find. In conjunction with the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture and USDA Forest Service - State and Private Forestry, the DNR is cooperating on an early detection survey for EAB. If you find any suspicious galleries, exit holes, etc. on dead/ declining ashes, please contact us. See the attached form for contact information. Also attached is the Pest Alert for the Emerald Ash Borer which gives more specifics on biology, damage and symptoms as well as excellent color photographs of symptoms and damage.

Tell a friend.